There's a growing trend to replace the costly university textbook, with free resources online.
The University of Windsor is being recognized for its efforts to bring down cost of pricey books for students. In one semester it saved students $64,000 by embracing a concept called "open learning."
"We're helping faculty write their own textbooks," said Nick Baker, the director of this initiative. "And the other thing we're doing is helping them find open education resources."
Baker said there are freely licensed materials that instructors can adapt, revise and reuse for teaching in their classes.
"Provincially, there's been funding available, and I think that makes a shift towards legitimizing the use of these resources," said Baker. "And that means that we can really seriously go out to faculty and say, 'Look — there are 230 open access textbooks that cover a broad range of disciplines. Why don't you let us show you one of these first, instead of making a decision for an expensive text?"
Baker said the university has six courses currently in development that would be based on such materials.